1st Samuel 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
This passage of scripture is one of the most difficult in the Bible to read, for it recounts the beginning of Israel's turning away from the God that had saved and delivered them from Egyptian bondage, and had brought them into a land flowing with milk and honey. After receiving the blessings from God, they then took council through a majority vote, to oust God from His role as their appointed leader. The fact that the scriptures state that "All" the elders gathered themselves unto Samuel, means that they were in one accord in making the decision to choose a different ruler.
Even though the Lord respected their freedom to choose, we must be aware that this form of government by the majority never originated with God, for it is an invention of man, and as such comes loaded with many drawbacks and pitfalls as it pertains to our well-being, both in the temporal and spiritual realm. One of the evils that arise from this form of government is that the majority do not always vote for that which is right, and often legislate issues that are directly contrary to God's will for the human family.
For instance, after the request for a visible, human king was made by the Hebrews, several of those rulers who then followed, instituted forms of worship that were contrary to what the Lord had ordained, and in addition they introduced immorality and idolatry of the darkest hue, to which the people under their jurisdiction succumbed. One of these such kings was Manasseh, who by his legal authority and example, pulled down almost the entire nation of Israel into the bottomless pit of immorality, vice, and crime, an experience from which the Jewish nation never fully recovered. Let's read:
2nd Kings 21:2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. 9 But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel.
In our day, many people do not fully understand the deeper issues involved when a leader is elected by the majority vote. When a president or ruler is elected democratically, what ever is done during the time of their tenure becomes the responsibility of not only the leader, but also the electorate, hence the reason why the laws of the land that are enacted under the duly elected leadership are really indirect products of the people, whether those laws are fair and balanced or not. This is one of the great issues God warned the Hebrews about when the majority requested a king. Let's read:
1st Samuel 8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.
Today in our society, we have laws that are being enacted that are directly contrary to the word of God, and the best temporal and eternal interests of the populace. Certain drugs and moral behaviors and educational systems are being introduced and instituted that are sure to bring misery and woe on the multitudes, but just as in the days of Samuel, the entreaties and warnings from the Lord are being passed by with hardly a notice.
That's why it's important for those of us who choose to serve God in this day and age should have our allegiance to the King of kings, tied primarily to the laws and institutions of His form of government, and not merely those of the secular world in which we live. In other words, when the laws of God and the principles of His kingdom do not harmonize with the laws of the land, we should choose to serve God rather than men. This does not however remove from Christians the responsibility to be law abiding citizens as far as is possible, however it does show us where our priorities lie, and who is our ultimate leader.
We therefore end with a passage of scripture reminding us as Christians, that we have entered into a covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and as such, our loyalties and obedience to Him should be always given top priority. Let's read:
1st Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
May this be the theme of our lives both now and forever. "Good night" and God bless!